Is your writing the best it can be?

Photo by Patrik Gothe courtesy of

Do you have a finished manuscript ready to submit? Are you having a hard time navigating the publishing industry? Do you self publish or go the traditional route? If you choose the traditional route, do you try to get an agent first or go straight to the publishing houses? How do you decide?

I think it’s a very personal choice and you need to do what feels right to you. For me, I’ve always wanted to go the traditional route. With the new changes to Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, it just solidifies this choice even more. This week, while my manuscript is being read by my wonderful beta readers (I have beta readers, what?!), I’m working on my submission materials. I’ll be submitting to a few publishing houses and see how that goes and then try submitting to agents.

Regardless of what route you take, you need to make sure your work is the best it can be. I can tell you firsthand from talking with an editor that they do not appreciate a query that says there are typos and grammatical errors in the work and to please ignore them. This is a waste of their time and yours. The query that says this will immediately be disregarded and the opportunity lost. Do not let this be you.

Have your manuscript looked at in a writer’s group, be professionally edited, or looked over, at the very least, by someone who reads a lot, preferably in the genre you’re writing. Once you’ve done one or all of these and feel confident in your work, then you’ll be ready to self-publish or submit.

Some may think writing is easy, but any writer knows, it’s a job. A hard job, that involves self-doubt, frustration, writer’s block, reflection, waiting, rejection and did I say waiting? That’s the hardest part for me. Even now, with just my beta readers, I’m so curious to know if they’ve started reading my manuscript and if so, what they think.

From experience with magazine articles, it’s almost painful to wait to hear back from a publisher. Even a rejection isn’t as bad as not knowing for me. Weird? Maybe, but at least I know at that point and I can move forward. I don’t even want to think about this stage for my manuscript yet, something I’ve invested YEARS of my life into. But I will endure the waiting because I love writing and I love the feeling of accomplishment and the thought that my writing will entertain someone other than me.

If you’re a writer, why do you write and how do you get past the hard parts?

Stay tuned for more tips I’ve learned from my journey to publication.


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